It is common knowledge that I hang with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom under the name of Dusty Sage, and about four years ago I used one of those cute online generators to produce a ponysona. That was good enough for a while; but I wearied of it, and when the noted artist LeekFish announced she was taking commissions, I asked her to knock out a sketch based on my original design but looking less artificial.
There has been a great deal of flapdoodle in recent years over the Hugo Awards, and the politicization of same. I can’t be sure if politics were involved in this nomination — I’m thinking a definite maybe — but just the same, there it is, up for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form):
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media / Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
The Equestrian outpost in France has turned loose this song:
There’s not a quadruped to be heard anywhere in the video, which is fine with me. And if your French is even worse than mine, voici une traduction. Bonus points if you can determine/remember the source of this post title.
Lee Ann — you remember Lee Ann, don’t you? — sent me a link to these, presumably because she thought I’d hurl:
The source of this image assures us that they have “no clue where this picture came from.” And I wonder how old it is, since that’s clearly a Generation Three Rainbow Dash, who wasn’t particularly fast; for that matter, she wasn’t even a pegasus in G3.
And pulling the fabric over the back of the heel like that? What’s that all about?
Someone following Ted Cruz around before the Iowa caucuses filed this report:
I’ve just jumped from a hay bale to the upper rung of a bleacher seat — it’s the only way I can see Cruz, surrounded by fans, cameras and boom mics. Now I’m looking down, and the Texan with slicked-back hair, a rugged outdoorsman’s jacket and hiking shoes is talking about ponies. “What’s your favorite My Little Pony?” Cruz asks his tiny supporter, a little girl who is wearing a Rainbow Dash beanie. “Twilight,” she says.
“I have two daughters, and they love Twilight,” Cruz says, before adding, with a grin: “My favorite, though, is Applejack. I just think she’s funny.”
You know, sugarcube, that Rarity isn’t going to play so well in Des Moines, or however the buck they pronounce it.
I missed that piece when it first came out, but local political whiz Peter J. Rudy was happy to toss it in my general direction. Of course, I was ready:
The first day of March, as usual, is Derpy Day; that Super Tuesday business just happened to fall on top of it this year. As you might expect, Equestria Daily has a bunch of Derpy-related items on display for the occasion, but the one I found myself coming back to was this little 15-cm sculpture by frozenpyro71:
British-American actress Emily Blunt — she was born in London, but took US citizenship last year — turns 33 next week, and she’s been working almost constantly for over a decade, though I didn’t catch her until 2006, in The Devil Wears Prada. (Stanley Tucci, also in Devil, is in Real Life™ married to Emily’s sister Felicia.)
In 2010, she married John Krasinski; they have a daughter and are expecting a second child this year.
And this family stuff may have suggested to her a side career as a voice actress: she voiced Juliet in Gnomeo & Juliet (2010), she’ll be heard this year in something called Animal Crackers, no relation to the Marx brothers’ original, and next year we (at least I) will hear her as an as-yet-unidentified character, presumably equine, in an actual My Little Pony movie.
Found by Fillyjonk on Polyvore, and contemplated by yours truly for entirely too long:
Headed to Equestria, dames? A darling pair of My Little Pony platform pumps, these vegan heels are fashioned in a charming cosmic celestial motif, boasting a peep toe, sleek 4.75 inch heel, 1 inch hidden platform and PU rubber outsole. Let your imagination run wild!
Typefaces in the news! (And how often do you see that?)
Font Brothers America has a perfectly dreadful set called Generation B, which has been used on almost everything Hasbro has issued from this generation of My Little Pony. Font Brothers is now suing Hasbro for, according to the legal filing [pdf], not less than $150,000 per infringement. This is a hell of a lot of money, especially considering that Font Brothers apparently was bragging about Hasbro’s use of the typeface before this legal farrago.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Highway Administration, which approved the use of the Clearview font on highway signs in place of the traditional Highway Gothic, has now rescinded that approval, pointing out that much of the improved legibility attributed to Clearview was actually due simply to having new signs made. Worse, on hazard signs, Clearview offers no improvement and may make matters worse. Fortunately, no one’s going to have to go back and retrofit the signs they’ve already replaced once.
How do parents ponies pre-know the talent of their newborns? In many cases, the name seems to be very reflective of the talent, or of their eventual mark. I think if I were making up the universe I’d have the ponies be given one name at birth, and then take on another — kind of like how some Christian groups do baptismal names or confirmation names — when they do figure out their talent.
I, for one, would like to know Mrs Cake’s maiden name.
Also referred to as “aptronyms”, New Scientist journalist John Hoyland coined the term “nominative determinism” for these strange cases of people who seem inexorably drawn to their profession by virtue of their name.
He was led to the subject after a being alerted to a scientific paper by authors JW Splatt and D Weedon on the subject of incontinence, on the same day as seeing a book on the Arctic by a Mr Snowman.
The idea has something of a history, with psychologist Karl Jung suggesting in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a “sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man’s name and his peculiarities”.
Daniel Ingram, who writes all those daffily infectious (or infectiously daffy) songs for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, has opened many career doors, and maybe blocked one:
I’ve been approached by some really unexpected clients as a result of MLP’s wide-reaching success. From large companies like Cirque du Soleil and Netflix to just unexpected people like Frank Zappa’s son, Ahmet, reaching out to congratulate me. I just finished a song for a hotel chain in Brazil because their marketing guy is a brony. MLP has opened up doors to write for some pretty cool celebrities too including “Weird Al” Yankovic and 2014 Tony Award winner Lena Hall. But the marketability is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve had a lot of success getting work writing music for children’s television, but I’ve struggled to find an agent that will take me seriously. I believe that will change in the next year or two. Anyone know a good songwriting agent?
By then, of course, he should have finished the MLP feature film, due fall 2017, which I suspect will mean the end of the TV series as well. In the meantime, though, he’s put some utterly fab stuff on his CV, including this Season Two delight that’s clearly not kid stuff:
Nonpareil, as the pony says. (Sam Vincent, who voiced either Flim or Flam — who can tell?¹ — was thinking of another animal: the song, he said, was an absolute bear to learn.)
¹ Just kidding. He was Flim. In some of the foreign versions, though, the same VA sang both Flim and Flam.
I don’t know anyone who’s signed up for YouTube’s Red service, which allows consumption of, one assumes, mass quantities of media for a monthly subscription fee. And up to this point, YouTube’s actual revenues from yours truly equaled the proverbial goose egg. Still, some things are worth paying for, and as an experiment — and in my capacity as a longtime non-subscriber to Discovery Family, which the cable company has pushed out to some far-distant Nosebleed Tier — I put up some coin of the realm yesterday to watch the newest episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show-business fable titled “The Mane Attraction,” ever-so-slightly based on George du Maurier’s Trilby. (The manipulative manager is named “Svengallop,” fercryingoutloud.) We’re talking $1.99, or $2.99 for actual HD. Mostly, I was curious to see how convoluted paying for an episode would be.
As it happens, the answer to that was “Not very,” since I already had a Google Wallet specified: two buttons, and the deed was done. (Your mileage may vary.) They are offering a season ticket — 26 episodes for approximately the price of ten — so I may do that for Season Six. After all, one must support the content creators at some level, and paying the cable company an extra $200 a year is not a level I’d consider useful.